Unprecedented hike in airfare impacts tourist inflow to Jammu and Kashmir

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 05, 2013 10:00 hrs

An increase in the airfare to Srinagar has affected tourist inflow in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to diversion of traffic to other destinations of the country.

The travel to Jammu and Kashmir by tourists from different parts of India has become largely unaffordable because of the huge hike in airfare

According to reports, tourists are either cancelling their visits or postponing them in hope that the airfare would be stabilized soon.

The rise in price often takes place during winters, as the national highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country becomes inaccessible, due to heavy rains and snowfall.

"There is a lot of problem here, because of air fares. People look forward to coming to Jammu and Kashmir during winters to witness snowfall. Generally, the airfare is about Rs.3000-4000, but right now it is around Rs. 8000-9000.

"The government should slash the price, so that more tourists can come here. We have come here from Delhi too. I think the government should understand the problem and reduce prices, so that tourists enjoy," Sapna, a tourist from Delhi, said on Saturday.

The tourism players in the Valley say that this hike is affecting winter tourism in valley, as it becomes unaffordable for middle-class families.

Tourism associations have urged the concerned authorities to cap the constantly increasing airfare so that more tourists can visit the valley during the winters to witness the pristine beauty and the snowfall.

"The air fares are very high. During off-season, it is quite cheap. There is a monopoly here and many tourists from India and abroad want to visit Kashmir, because it is known to be like heaven. The fares are too high," said Mahesh, a tourist from Mumbai.Jammu and Kashmir was once dubbed the Switzerland of the east. It was once a Mecca for climbers, skiers, honeymooners and filmmakers drawn to the state's soaring peaks, fruit orchards and timber houseboats bobbing on Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital. (ANI)

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